An Unnatural Winter (MP Campaign)

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Rhuvaen
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An Unnatural Winter (MP Campaign)

Post by Rhuvaen »

Finally the re-release in MP Campaigns format is happening!

An Unnatural Winter is now available again for versions 1.1.7+ on the campaign server. It's a nearly complete rewrite of the original.

Version 0.5.2 now on the 1.3.6 campaign server
Much improved gameplay with a lot more choices for the players of where to engage their enemies and how to protect the villagers, who are now fleeing correctly!

There are four difficulty settings that people can try this on, while gameplay is supposed to be consistent throughout.

In the first scenario, the gold bonus depends on how many villagers the players protect.

Now working on: scenario 2 - 8th March 2007
2. The Steppes: cross the steppes where goblins, orcs and fleeing humans battle. (mixed run/battle scenario - get a bonus for reaching the goalpost and for saving humans)
Plot: the players leave Helmsfar, seeking an alternate path to the Sages' lands (because the Pass of Nergen is blocked by severe weather). They move southwards, skirting the mountains, and come upon a human fort, nearing the borders of Wesnoth (actually, a few players will have travelled the road to the fort and await the others' arrival there). The humans are worried, for the orcs that have been neutral since the peace after Asheviere was beaten are camping close to the fort, hungry in the desolate weather. Still, they make no move.
From the mountains, a marauding tribe of goblins appears - goblins that are fanatically loyal to their leader, who seems to be strangely in league with the weather. These goblins have already captured in a series of cunning moves a small outpost/watchtower of the humans and are guarding their warning-beacon, too. The goblin banner hanging from the human watchtower is throwing the goblins into a fanatical fighting fury, thinking nothing can stop them...

I've attached a sketch of the situation below. The players start at 'x' in the NW, except 1-2 players who start in the human fort. There's an allied, passive AI human leader in the fort. There are neutral orcs in the SW corner.
Objective: all leaders reach the SE signpost.
Bonus for:
- reaching the signpost before x1, x2, x3 turns...
- survival of the human leader
- recapture of the outpost/watchtower (plus goblins lose their fighting frenzy)
- lighting of the beacon (plus reinforcements arrive some turns later)
- peace with the orcish leader (he survives - but only if the human leader survives, too)
- killing the goblin leader
Special - Recruitment: the players starting out in the north will only get a fraction of the gold for 1-2 recalls. They will receive the rest when they reach the human fort or when the outpost/watchtower is liberated or the beacon lit.
Special - Snow-Goblins: the goblins have 1 MP over snow and +10% def there.
Special - Goblin Frenzy: the goblins get +1 damage and +1 attack while the banner hangs
Special - Orcish Hunger: the orcs will attack any time they have significantly more troops than are in or near the fort, or if the fort is threatened to be overrun by goblins...

It would be great if I had some help with:
1) making a map from the sketch (good quality maps will have some liberty with the geography) - I intend that it would take about 4-6 turns to reach the fort from 'x', so nothing too small and not too many villages
2) come up with names and dialogue for the protagonists/antagonists - this might involve detailing the plot a bit more
3) any other ideas?
Last edited by Rhuvaen on August 16th, 2007, 3:52 pm, edited 19 times in total.
NeoPhile
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Post by NeoPhile »

I gave it a shot on normal. I played fairly sloppily, and I ended up with 80 or 85 bonus gold. I can't see how I could've done better - there's no way I could've made it to the top of the map fast enough to save those villagers. Well, maybe with the drakes, but they would've been slaughtered without backup, and probably couldn't've saved more than 1 anyway.

Possible minor problem: the outlaw/saurian leader didn't recruit on turn 1. Using 1.1.7 with default era.

Some design feedback: I like what you did with the ice, grass and hills on the east side of the map - it made for some unusual strategy. It's not clear how to protect the villagers until one of them is revealed. It's also not clear that you are protecting some villagers in the south, since they never show up.

I kept a replay, I'll post it at your request. I might try some other difficulties later, but I want to finish Elves and Wose first.
Rhuvaen
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Post by Rhuvaen »

NeoPhile wrote:I gave it a shot on normal. I played fairly sloppily, and I ended up with 80 or 85 bonus gold. I can't see how I could've done better
That seems a lot to me :). Of course you can't save all villagers. They're partly just there to build some tension... but who knows what people are capable of?

I also changed the villager's side so that they can own villages - hopefully they won't all leave them on their first move, but decide to stay. No amount of caution and unaggression will prevent them from counter-attacking the orcish horde, however :(.
NeoPhile wrote:Possible minor problem: the outlaw/saurian leader didn't recruit on turn 1. Using 1.1.7 with default era.
That just happens sometimes. I consider this a bug in the game, since I tried everything imaginable to make it work consistently.
NeoPhile wrote:It's not clear how to protect the villagers until one of them is revealed.
Preventing them from being revealed serves the same purpose.
NeoPhile wrote:I kept a replay, I'll post it at your request.
Can you PM it to me - that would be great :D!

Elves and Wose? What about Elf War?
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Post by NeoPhile »

Rhuvaen wrote:Elves and Wose? What about Elf War?
There's not much progress to report there. I made some minor changes (don't quite remember what), but not enough to repost the campaign. I was going to figure out how to combine multiplayer with single player, but I still haven't gotten around to it.

It's a little disenheartening that you seem to be the only person interested in it (thanks for your help!). I'm also a little wary of stealing it from Mkgego, though (s)he doesn't seem to be around these days.
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Post by NeoPhile »

I just gave it 2 runs on challenging (v0.2.6, wesnoth 1.1.7). The first time, I tried to rush them like I did in normal, but it didn't work. My second try, I played more conservatively, observing time of day more, and not crossing the river right away. The end result was that I lost about twice as many villagers (I think my bonus was 140), but with a positive income and more turns used, that wasn't much of a loss. I also got many more leveled units.

The problem with that strategy was that players 1 and 2 end up twiddling their thumbs for the first 10 or 15 turns. I won on turn 26, so that's particularly bad.

Bug: when Thlarun Houl gives a unit invisibility, it stays invisible, even after it's attacked someone.

Anyway, here's a replay of my challenging win.
Attachments
replay-challenge.zip
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Mythological
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Post by Mythological »

Hi

Yesterday we've tried to play the new version of Unnnatural winter ( the one downloaded from the add-ons server ) in mp on the 1.1.8 server but it didnt work
No one in the lobby can actually see nor join the game that is crated with that scenario...we've tried rehosting it with different people as hosts but nothing worked, and I am sure that the previous version worked fine. What can the problem be ?
Theoretically, love is great
but it is a little bit different in practice.

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Rhuvaen
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Post by Rhuvaen »

Ok, fixed the problem where you couldn't actually have people join. (should have read my own HOWTO better :roll:)

I also put back the AI settings of the original - the ones I was using here weren't really working too well. I'll upload version 0.2.7 now.

About the invisibility - that is not what this sorcerer business is about. Somehow, one of the thieves is always invisible for side 1. I'll figure that out somehow...
Rhuvaen
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Post by Rhuvaen »

Reinstated the Drake limit of six units and minor fixes. Version 0.2.8.

Gave Dil Gaddyn more gold, sorted out some events that weren't working correctly. Rearranged villages and terrain to allow for more offensive play on the players side. Version 0.3.0.

I consider the first scenario finished business (except actually setting the players' gold at the end). Work will now proceed on scenario 2.
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Post by Rhuvaen »

Well after all the changes NeoPhile's replays sadly aren't useful any longer for judging the balancing (and difficulties). Any feedback in this department would be appreciated.

I also wonder if all the story parts work for all network players, or only for the person hosting the game :roll:. I got the impression when I hosted the game that for the other players, the whole background was very unclear, and that they might not have seen the story (but I didn't think of it at the time to ask!).

Also, I'd be very grateful for people who want to help develop the story and dialogue. I started this whole thing off with gameplay ideas in mind. The story is rather stereotypical and contrived, and to be honest I don't really care :wink:. But I'll gladly take other's suggestions aboard if they seem better than what's there. Most of all I'm pretty sure I'm just giving too much irrelevant info rather than introducing a story, thus confusing the players... :oops:

Here's an outline of planned scenarios/story:
  • 1. Helmsfar: defend the villagers from marauding orcs and bandits (with a cameo by Thlarun Houl)

    2. The Steppes: cross the steppes where goblins, orcs and fleeing humans battle. (mixed run/battle scenario - get a bonus for reaching the goalpost and for saving humans)

    3. Hidden Valley: get past the dwarves into underground catacombs while avoiding the horror of the valley (run-type scenario)

    4. Halls Below: find a dwarvish artifact and your way through the underground passages (dungeon-type scenario)

    5. Sage's Retreat: mobilise the sages who have gone into hiding to help defeat the force that is guarding the Valley of Mists. (no clear ideas here yet)

    6. Tower of Sages: rescue Nanthomir and free the Tower of Sages. (grand battle with some special objectives)

    7. ??: defeat Thlarun Houl in his hideout.
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Post by NeoPhile »

Rhuvaen wrote:I also wonder if all the story parts work for all network players, or only for the person hosting the game :roll:. I got the impression when I hosted the game that for the other players, the whole background was very unclear, and that they might not have seen the story (but I didn't think of it at the time to ask!).
Well, I can't be of much service there. I'm just starting to get my friends hooked now, I don't think they're ready for playtesting yet. I could certainly play with you though, if you need someone.
Rhuvaen wrote:Here's an outline of planned scenarios/story:
That actually looks pretty good. I'm a little disappointed that it's going to be that short. The dialog seems fine to me. For Sages Retreat, might I suggest a protect/escort scenario? Something like escorting the shamans in SotBE.
Rhuvaen wrote:Well after all the changes NeoPhile's replays sadly aren't useful any longer for judging the balancing (and difficulties). Any feedback in this department would be appreciated.
Well shucks, we can't have that now, can we? :) Have a replay, (0.3.1, normal, wesnoth 1.1.8). You made it alot harder! The normal mode is at least as hard as challenging used to be! Anyway, you seem to have done a good job; there was definitely no thumb twiddling this time. I didn't even attempt to save villagers north of the river; it would've been suicide.

I made a list of bugs too:
  • * There's a shroud around the edge of the map to start off with. It seems kind of odd. I found I had to exceed the map dimensions when I was removing shroud, (ie x=0-<width+1>). But why is there shroud in the first place if you're going to reveal the map anyway?
    * Thlarun Houl changes color. He's red when he's moving, and he's white when he talks to Dil Gaddyn.
    * Sometimes, villages don't get captured by the peasant team when they appear.
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Rhuvaen
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Post by Rhuvaen »

NeoPhile wrote:I'm just starting to get my friends hooked now, I don't think they're ready for playtesting yet. I could certainly play with you though, if you need someone.
Good luck with your friends. I've been on the server more in the past few days, but am having to cut back again... and spend more time developing. I'm on the server more in between GMT 9 - 15, which isn't when most people are on, too.
NeoPhile wrote:
Rhuvaen wrote:Here's an outline of planned scenarios/story:
That actually looks pretty good. I'm a little disappointed that it's going to be that short.
What?!? That's a whopping three scenarios longer than when I originally started on this!

I think it's not so easy designing scenarios for 1-4 players and making cooperation a must, and I take forever making those maps...
NeoPhile wrote:For Sages Retreat, might I suggest a protect/escort scenario? Something like escorting the shamans in SotBE.
Wow! I like that idea, but I only once got to that scenario in SotBE at a time where it was pretty much broken.
NeoPhile wrote:Have a replay, (0.3.1, normal, wesnoth 1.1.8). You made it alot harder! The normal mode is at least as hard as challenging used to be!
Thanks for the replay! Well now it's back the way the original was. Version 0.2.0 was too much of a cakewalk.
NeoPhile wrote:* There's a shroud around the edge of the map to start off with. It seems kind of odd. I found I had to exceed the map dimensions when I was removing shroud, (ie x=0-<width+1>). But why is there shroud in the first place if you're going to reveal the map anyway?
Because I'm hiding a villager leader there :wink:. It's the only way they can actually own the villages.
NeoPhile wrote:* Thlarun Houl changes color. He's red when he's moving, and he's white when he talks to Dil Gaddyn.
I saw that and somehow didn't notice what was going on (just that it was looking funny). Thanks, I'll put an end to Thlarun Houl the Multicoloured! EDIT: fixed in 0.3.2.
NeoPhile wrote:* Sometimes, villages don't get captured by the peasant team when they appear.
I have no idea why they sometimes do that... guess your replay will tell me more. Oh, it might have to do with Thlarun Houl, too (unwise killing of all side eight units, a remnant from before the villagers?). EDIT: fixed in 0.3.2.

Ouch! I get a crash to desktop when trying to watch the replay. The console says:
console wrote:error network: choice expected but none found
terminate called after throwing an instance of 'replay::error'
Aborted
Yikes! Could that be the message/option stuff? Is it breaking replays?
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jb
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Post by jb »

Hi Rhuvaen

I tried the first version of the revised scenerio in solo mode (I controlled all 4 sides)...at the time it wasn't working on the mp server...but it sounds like you've fixed it since then.

I really like the addition of the peasants in the villages.

I didn't like being able to recruit more than 6 drakes, but it sounds like you've fixed this as well. I did like the fact that they could recruit other units though.

I need to try the newest version, but here are some thoughts based on the first "re-release".....I played it on the hardest difficulty level and still found it to be reasonably easy. I may not be a good judge however, since I might be considered one of the "better" players. And I could see it being not so easy for newer players...but it was the hardest diffuculty so I was expected it to be more of a challenge. I think the main problem lies with the rouge. He always falls too quickly. Perhaps giving him more gold the same turn he is able to recruit UD might help? I've never had to face more than a handful of his UD units.

That being said, it may be fine as is and work much much better when more scenerios are added...because building a good recall list will be important.

Overall I was very happy with it, and I can't wait to see what's next. If you'd like feedback on balancing issues for the future scenerios I'd be happy to help.

Nice work.
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NeoPhile
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Post by NeoPhile »

Rhuvaen wrote:Good luck with your friends. I've been on the server more in the past few days, but am having to cut back again... and spend more time developing. I'm on the server more in between GMT 9 - 15, which isn't when most people are on, too.
That would include me. Stupid time zones!
Rhuvaen wrote:What?!? That's a whopping three scenarios longer than when I originally started on this!

I think it's not so easy designing scenarios for 1-4 players and making cooperation a must, and I take forever making those maps...
That sounds pretty believeable, so I won't fault you for that. Quality is much better than quantity in this case. Still, the [story] and dialog that you've released so far makes me expect something like 15 scenarios.
Rhuvaen wrote:
NeoPhile wrote:* There's a shroud around the edge of the map to start off with. It seems kind of odd. I found I had to exceed the map dimensions when I was removing shroud, (ie x=0-<width+1>). But why is there shroud in the first place if you're going to reveal the map anyway?
Because I'm hiding a villager leader there :wink:. It's the only way they can actually own the villages.
I still don't like it. It breaks undo, which is bad for a sloppy mouse user like me. The easy solution is to reveal more shroud, leaving only the corner where he sits. I think a better solution is to have a mayor character sitting in plain sight at the bottom of the map, and then work something into the dialog like "Oh no! The townsfolk will be slaughtered!".
Rhuvaen wrote:Ouch! I get a crash to desktop when trying to watch the replay. The console says:
console wrote:error network: choice expected but none found
terminate called after throwing an instance of 'replay::error'
Aborted
Yikes! Could that be the message/option stuff? Is it breaking replays?
I just tried it out, and I got the same thing. Very weird. It can't be the messages/options though, because my previous replays worked, didn't they? The only obvious difference I can see is that this is a 1.1.8 replay, while my previous ones were 1.1.7. Well, your version numbers changed too, but I doubt that had any significant effect. Why is there a network error in a replay of a hotseat game anyway?
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Post by Rhuvaen »

Hey jb,

good to hear your comments - thanks! I'm certain those thumbs-up will provide me with some fuel for the upcoming scenarios waiting to be made.

The difficulty level has been adjusted since you played and it shouldn't be easier than the original now. Especially Dil Gaddyn's gold has been increased a lot! (I made a mistake when setting up his gold in the new version at first)

Version 0.3.3 now includes a different mechanism for selecting the difficulty - that one shouldn't break the replays (I hope) and it also lets players discuss first before choosing. I've also moved the story info into messages, so that network players know the story, too :wink:.

EDIT: just missed NeoPhile's post while typing... btw, the shroud issue has changed and shouldn't be a problem for you anymore!
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Post by NeoPhile »

Rhuvaen wrote:Version 0.3.3 now includes a different mechanism for selecting the difficulty - that one shouldn't break the replays (I hope) and it also lets players discuss first before choosing. I've also moved the story info into messages, so that network players know the story, too :wink:.

EDIT: just missed NeoPhile's post while typing... btw, the shroud issue has changed and shouldn't be a problem for you anymore!
Curious about the changes, I took a quick look. There's still shroud around the edge of the map.

Also, it is possible to play without selecting a difficulty. I think the solution to this problem is to make it so that side 1 can't recruit until they've chosen. Instead of having a peasant in the option caves, put the leader in there. When he moves, teleport him, and restore his MP. Even better, put that as a separate scenario at the start. Then you don't have to worry about shroud, and it's easy to clear the option cave off the map.
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